Monday, December 21, 2015

Web-based alternatives to PowerPoint

Are your presentations suffering from "death by PowerPoint"?  Here are two web-based presentation alternatives.  One you likely use already or have heard of; the second one was new to me.
Image result for prezi
Prezi presentations are made on a virtual canvas, instead of slide-by-slide.  You zoom in-and-out as you move from image-to-image through your presentation.

Prezi critics (disclosure: I'm one) think that the the purported benefits (the motion and in-and-out zooming) are actually distracting and annoying.  Variety is always good, though, so you should make one and see how you like it.  Prezi is a paid service but teachers are eligible for the free "Edu Enjoy" option.

Penn State-Berks created a handy three-page printed guide to using Prezi, and here's a YouTube tutorial (2:27).

This tutorial is the most fun.  It's a Prezi (37 slides) on how to use import your existing PowerPoint slides into Prezi.

A second alternative to PowerPoint is emaze.
Image result for emaze

I first learned about emaze recently when I was at a meeting at a local university.  Watching that presentation, however, I was more captivated by watching emaze's whiz-bang, eye-catching features than by the actual content of the presentation.  (That's a bad thing.)

In many ways emaze offers the same benefits (like the virtual canvas) as prezi.  But here's a chart  (produced by emaze) listing 20 ways they think they're a better presentation alternative to either PowerPoint or Prezi, and here's a tutorial (2:15) on how to use emaze.
Which one is the better alternative?  Experiment with both and decide for yourself.

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